A Duke in Shining ArmorAuthor: Loretta Chase
Series: Difficult Dukes #1
Release date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository | Kobo
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Not all dukes are created equal. Most are upstanding members of Society. And then there’s the trio known as Their Dis-Graces.
Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend’s bride. All he’s trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.
For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family’s ecstatic. And Olympia? She’s climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.
So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him...?
The GingerSnap’s review
I tried. I really tried. I tried to read this whole book, but 40% in, I had to DNF. The reasons? There are so many.
Number one: The entire time I was reading this book, I felt like I was missing some piece of the puzzle. This book is the first in the “Difficult Dukes” series, but there are so many off-handed references or hints to things the Dukes had said or done previously that I felt left out like I wasn’t privy to some aspects of the characters’ lives, which made it hard to really get into the story.
Number two: The heroine, Olympia, is described in the book synopsis as “bookish, bespectacled”, which is problematic in and of itself because this description is used to contrast the gorgeousness of her soon-to-be husband, which is so not feminist, and we all know that being bookish and bespectacled does not make you unattractive!! Moreover, just because someone wears glasses does not mean they are a nerd! That rant aside, it also felt like the author was trying way too hard to prove just how bookish and boring Olympia was. Case in point: Olympia describing her system for organising her books, and basically steering any conversation somehow back to how 1. boring she is or 2. how much she likes books. Her character is so one-dimensional, and it made me really frustrated.
Number three: I did not believe the attraction between Olympia and the Duke of Ripley one.damn.bit. Their kiss felt awkward, forced, and out of the blue since their romance, if there was one, doesn’t seem to have taken off the ground, yet. The Duke is helping her out of a rough spot, she’s kind of drunk, and then they go on a boat and change clothes. The first and third of those plot points could totally have led to some sexual tension which would have been a great prelude to the kiss, but in fact, those points in the story were uninteresting and did nothing to deepen the hero and heroine’s connection.
Number four: Olympia makes a big deal out of her marriage to the Duke of Ashmont being the only way to save her family, but it isn’t made clear how exactly all the responsibility falls on her shoulders. It also isn’t made clear how she and Ashmont get to know each other and why exactly he decides to marry her, and therefore, it isn’t clear why she decides to become a runaway bride.
Number five: The dialogue in this book is, at best, confusing, at worst, seems like the characters are having two different conversations. It nearly drove me insane, and there are many, many highlighted quotes on my Kindle of dialogue, which I have commented on with a “?!!??!?!”
I love forced proximity romance and I’m all for a romance between a difficult duke and a runaway bride, but this book did not deliver any sort of entertainment or give me any reason to keep reading further explore those tropes, so I bailed, and I’m not sorry I did. Life is too short to be confused by what you read.
I would recommend this book to…